How to make energy-efficient home upgrades with cost-saving credentials
Understanding how to bring your carbon footprint down is essential in today’s environmentally-conscious society but, with energy costs at an all-time high, it’s important to choose energy-efficient upgrades that are the most cost-effective.
Luckily, there are sustainable upgrades that you can make across your home that tick the eco-friendly box and are easy on the purse strings.
What energy-efficient changes can you make?
Since the UK’s price cap on out-of-contract tariffs rose on 1 October 2022, it is not a good idea to now switch energy suppliers. And, despite energy bills being discounted by the government’s Energy Price Guarantee, new rates are still more costly than they’ve ever been. Instead, there’s never been a better time to make sustainable upgrades that can reduce your energy bills.
With winter and the colder months upon us, it might seem harder to find additional cash to make energy-saving changes to your home. However, by making sustainable upgrades now you can ensure your home is more prepared going forward and you’ll be better placed to avoid even larger bills. Here are some points that can help you save money, be energy efficient (with reduced costs in mind) and keep your home on the greener end of the spectrum now and in the future.
Upgrade your windows
When it comes to energy efficiency, your windows should be the first port of call. Double glazing may require an initial outlay, but it will save you pennies in the long-term and will help to retain heat in the winter. Double and triple glazing can help to prevent significant heat loss in your property, and you can enhance this benefit even further with thermal energy-saving blinds or curtains. Choosing recyclable materials for the frames of your windows will also help to make this upgrade more eco-friendly.
Windows serve as an insulating barrier to retain the heat inside the home and if you install low emissivity glass, it can save you even more in cooling and heating costs. Smart insulating window options might include adding wire-free roof lantern blinds that provide better thermal efficiency by retaining the warmth in your home. Blinds or shutters installed with thicker materials offer greater efficiency and increased insulation.
Use smart devices to insulate your home
Heat will escape quickly in your home if you don’t insulate properly, especially if your property was built before the 1990s as it’s more likely to have cavities and gaps in the walls which can make heat loss more pronounced. To keep more heat inside your home and reduce the need for additional heating, it’s recommended that you fill any gaps with insulating material. That might mean insulating a cavity wall, improving your loft insulation and other connecting areas of your property such as your garage that can easily increase your utility costs if you neglect them.
Smart devices are a fantastic addition to your home when it comes to increasing sustainability because they can significantly alter how much energy your property uses. The likes of plugs, thermostats and lights can all be controlled from your smartphone and enables you to maintain a comfortable home without using excessive energy in the process. Smart plugs are another option that can be used with any existing appliances, so you can control them with the same app on your phone, but without as much initial outlay as with smart devices.
Be aware of your power consumption
Smart meters are an increasingly useful and accessible in-house visual display unit that allow householders to be far more conscious of the day to day power consumption in the home. Given that we now rely on so many modern appliances for both domestic and hybrid working purposes, a visual indicator of the power usage and cost implications can help to track pinch points and begin to highlight where reductions may be possible.
Even little changes in a modern home, such as fully powering down all appliances that don’t need a maintenance background power will soon assist with a smarter, sustainable and more cost-effective home.
Change your way with water
You don’t need to undergo a full bathroom or kitchen renovation to make these areas of your home more sustainable and eco-friendly. In fact, you can save a lot of money on your energy bills simply by saving water. And, by making a few small but effective swaps, such as with the toilet and shower head you can make a real difference in and around your home.
A fact many people don’t realise is toilets account for nearly 30% of the total water consumption of a home, so by installing a low-flow toilet, you can actually save a lot of money and water, and help the environment in the process. Likewise, using a low-flow shower head will cut your water consumption further and save energy, since the boiler won’t need to heat as much water as before.
Replace your front door
A new front door might not be top of your list when it comes to sustainability, but actually the material your door is made from can have a big impact on your heating and cooling costs. By choosing an energy-certified steel door, you can benefit from a durable door that offers the security you want but also retains heat in the winter and cools in the summer. A new front door updates the exterior of your property, increases kerb appeal, but most importantly reduces the carbon footprint of your home.
There’s never been a better time to save money, make better energy-efficient choices and remain green. While some improvements to your property will require a little money upfront, the money you’ll save in the long-term will make it worthwhile. Even if you’re on a tight budget, there are ways to make relatively small and low-cost changes that will have a greater impact overall on both your financial outgoings and your everyday sustainable living.